Sunday, July 25, 2010


We were contacted by Sonic, America's Drive-In to do a review of their new Footlong Quarter Pound Coney Dog.

Sonic is also running a giveaway through our blog to entice our readers, as well as their patrons, to win a FREE $25 gift card, and be registered to win FREE Major League Baseball, or AAA baseball tickets.

Details of this giveaway will be at the end of this shortened review- so read on, then join our contest.

Anytown, USA

"Footlongs, who wants a footlong?" The quote from Dumb and Dumber that became true one summer night at Sonic.

Nestled inside a bun that was not overpowering in size to the proportion of the dog, was a blend of chili, cheese, and the dog itself. The chili had a pleasant lower spice level to it. If you are not a connoisseur of spicy chili, this is just potent enough to notice the spice but not too overpowering to eat. The chili is not thick enough to eat a good bowl of it, but wonderfully topped the length of the dog. Shredded cheddar cheese was lightly sprinkled over the top and melted the perfect amount to compliment the chili. With each bite of the dog, I could taste each individual component - the dog, chili, and cheese- but at the same time they blended so well on my palate.

I was shocked to see that a footlong was going to be sold for $2.99! In some situations cheaper means less quality, but not in this one. Any place that would sell a footlong- be it a street vendor, carnival, or restaurant daring enough to keep these in stock, could easily get twice this price. Kudos to Sonic for keeping the price low and enticing customers to get more than one of these for the bargain of a price.


So how can you be entered to win this FREE $25 gift card and FREE Major League Baseball, or AAA baseball tickets through and courtesy of our friends at Sonic, America's Drive-In? Just 3 simple steps.

1) Become a follower of our blog. If you are already a follower, you have this step out of the way.

2) Visit Sonic's website and check out their menu, happy hour options and locations.

3) Leave a comment with what menu item on Sonic's website sounds the best to you by clicking on "comments" at the bottom of this post.

Our contest will run UNTIL AUGUST 14th with the wiener (pun intended) announced on the blog later that week. Make sure you check back to see if you have won.

Good luck to all and THANK YOU for being loyal, or future loyal, readers of

Friday, July 23, 2010


Seattle, WA

Out for a run while in Seattle along the wharf, the smell coming off of the Puget Sound was not that of fish and trolling fishing boats. The smell that filtered into my nostrils was that of sausage, and bratwurst, and hot dogs being cooked. I picked up the pace and ran past this small stand that was the size of a gardening shed called The Frankfurter. I returned around lunch time and was amazed at the variety and popularity of such a small stand. 12 count them 12 different dog options were offered. Non traditional options such as sun dried tomato dogs and Thai chicken dogs were on the menu, as well as scarcely found bockworst, and kosher dogs. On the day I had a kielbasa topped with grilled onions and peppers with a sole line of hot mustard to enhance the flavor. The dog was wrapped in a thicker bun that you would commonly think of around a thick kielbasa or even an East coast hoagie. The casing was a bit tougher to bite through, but that is normal for a kielbasa. The spiced meat flavor came through though as a mighty tasty dog on the afternoon. Next time I visit, I will run longer so I can develop a bigger hunger than one lone kielbasa. B

Atmosphere- I have had hot dogs on the Atlantic ocean (see our South Carolina posts) and now this is the furthest West we have gone on our hot dog travels. Though more than a portable stand, but with the panache of a street vendor cart, it was a very cool idea. A dog at a local stand is hard to top, especially when you can turn and view a 180 degrees of waterfront acreage and the bustle of people exploring the tourist area. I walked for a bit and had my picture taken just a few blocks away next to the Seattle Mariners and Seahawks stadium. C+

Value -
Dogs that come from street vendor-esque peddlers have been known to gouge patrons due to the supply and demand principle. But considering the fact that I got a grilled kielbasa, with peppers and onions on a thick roll of a bun for under $5 I was quite pleased. If in Seattle head to one of their three locations and venture away from the traditional restaurants that line the other side of the street. B

Side Dish Jody Says...was not on the trip and could not revue the non hot dog options.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Hot Dog of the Week: Dog House Drive-In

This segment of Hot Dog of the Week is courtesy of our friends at and they found a place on historic Route 66.

Very few places give you a choice of chili sauces for your dogs. So contemplate the level of spice you want in either red or green sauce. So when traveling the great Southwest, get your kicks on Route 66 at the Dog House Drive-In.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tony Packos

Lady Lake, FL/ Anytown, USA

Tony Packos is a Toledo, Ohio restaurant that gained national attention from the T.V. show M*A*S*H as the place Jamie Farr (Corporal Klinger) raved about. We came across this Tony Packos restaurant in Central Florida after being told about it by one of our readers. Now be warned- this review may not be an accurate review of the original chain in Northwest, Ohio but it is the same chain with the same hot dogs. For such a nationally iconic restaurant to be buried in the back corner of a bowling alley was not the wisest of choices, but nevertheless, it needed to be reviewed. I had a pair of dogs which were the Tony Packos Orginal Hot Dogs. These were smoked sausage served under mustard, onions and their famous sauce. The dog itself, though not a true hot dog, was very tasty. A good firm snap to the casing and a good sausage inside. The sauce on top was very tasty as well, and I ate them just as they came-no other toppings necessary. Next time I have a Tony Packos, I will wait until I head to the greater Toledo area. C-

When we walked in the door at lunch time, we were the only customers, other than the sprinkled people bellied up to the bar. This Packos was themed to be sports bar-esque then at night it was set up with a DJ booth, dance floor and light show from the ceiling. Being the only customers, you would think we would have had great service. Contraire mon frere. Hopefully results are not typical for everyone, but our socially awkward server with the personality of a wet hot dog bun brought things out very slowly and did not even check on us. Bad things come in threes, right? Bowling alley hot dog place, dance club atmosphere, Revenge of the Nerds server. D

At $2.99 for the Tony Packos Original, this was worth the money. The dog is longer and thicker than a normal hot dog, but not quite the size of a 1/4 pound all-beef dog that many places serve. The sauce itself, which is sold in many grocery stores, is worth the price of the dog itself, so everything was saved with the cost. Maybe the cost is lower to make up for everything else. B+

Side Dish Jody says...
I ordered the taco salad which was bland taco meat, lettuce, onion, tomato, cheese and salsa in a deep taco shell. The taco shell was tasty and flaky but overall the whole salad was somewhat average. C

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Kobayashi arrested at annual contest

Takeru Kobayashi was arrested at the annual Nathan's hot dog eating contest.

Joey Chestnut retained his championship belt that he has kept since first dethrowning the Japanese legend in 2006.

Click on THIS link to read the full story courtesy of CNN.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Tampa, FL

Okay, if the hot dog mobile car to the left does not set the stage for this review then nothing well. Upon exiting I-275 we saw a billboard advertising Mel's, which is the first road side billboard I have seen funneling people to a hot dog joint. After laughing at the brilliance of a hot dog VW bug, we walked in to a full Mel's. Most restaurants would hope to be full at meal time, but we stopped in at nearly 2 in the afternoon. Just a 9 iron shot east of Busch Gardens, it has probably had many amusement park guests filling their stomachs after emptying them on the roller coasters. Mel was working this day, and it seemed that he did this with regularity. The thing is, this place is legendary. How many owners of a place this cool, and this well known still greet patrons, refill drinks, or bus tables? I had two dogs on the day-a Chicago Dog (because I am a sucker for a good one) and one of Mel's Special Hot Dogs. Mel himself is a Chicago native, so he brought the taste of Chi-town with him. Every dog is an all beef dog, and EVERY dog comes on a poppy seed bun. Mel got every detail down to perfection on this Chicago dog including some good peppers. I polluted it with a line of mustard, but don't tell Mel. The Mel's Special Hot Dog had your run of the mill ingredients (mustard, onions, relish and sauerkraut) but no ketchup. You really don't think someone from Chicago would put ketchup on ANY dog do you? B+

Atmosphere- Yes there is a VW bug on the front lawn corridor, but when you go inside you see the scores of pictures of people in Mel's t-shirts around the world (ala Yesterdog in MI.). Included in the pictures of patrons are shots from the Sydney Opera House, the Antarctica airport, and the Kremlin in Russia. The tables and chairs look like something out of a 50's diner, but reproduction versions of it. But the car, OHHHHH the car. It does not get much better than that. B

The Mel's Special cost me $3.25 while the Chicago dog was $3.75, which are both fair prices. Had I decided to make these a basket, which included fries, it would still have been in the $5 range. Authentic Chicago dogs over 1,500 miles south of the windy city is a bargain.
If you think about it, a lot of traffic comes from the theme park, so gouging prices could easily happen, but these are very reasonable. Fork it over to Mel's, or maybe Mel himself. He might work the register that day. B+

Side Dish Jody says... There were many non-hot dog options above and beyond the normal hot dog joint menu items including burgers and various types of sausage sandwiches. I ordered the char broiled chicken breast sandwich which was a nicely seasoned grilled chicken breast on a soft white bun. I asked for it without mayonnaise or honey mustard, as the menu indicates however I wish I would have asked for barbecue sauce or another condiment I like to provide a little moisture to the sandwich. Hot dog guy and I split a large order of fries which was a good value at 1.49. B-